Research & Published Articles

Published information:

Care of Manitobans Living with Chronic Kidney Disease
Rates of kidney failure or end stage kidney disease (ESKD) have been steadily increasing with the prevalence of diabetes and the aging population in Manitoba. The purpose of this report was to gain a greater understanding of chronic kidney disease (CKD) and ESKD in adults and children in the province. The findings will provide background knowledge to prevent new cases of CKD, to intervene early to slow the progression to ESKD and to plan resources for kidney health services in the future. Manitoba Health, Healthy Living and Seniors asked Manitoba Centre for Health Policy to answer the following research questions: a) What are the future needs for kidney health services (peritoneal dialysis, home hemodialysis, in-centre dialysis and kidney transplant) in Manitoba? b) What is the geographic distribution of this population? c) What are the characteristics of the future population of Manitoba residents who will require renal replacement treatment? d) What preventive, screening, and education measures and affiliations with existing programs, might reduce the number of Manitobans who will require dialysis? Read more…

PLOS ONE: An Economic Assessment Model of Rural and Remote Satellite Hemodialysis Units
Background Kidney Failure is epidemic in many remote communities in Canada. In-centre hemodialysis is provided within these settings in satellite hemodialysis units. The key cost drivers of this program have not been fully described. Such information is important in informing the design of programs aimed at optimizing efficiency in providing dialysis and preventative chronic kidney disease care in remote communities. Design, Setting, Participants, and Measurements We constructed a cost model based on data derived from 16 of Manitoba, Canada’s remote satellite units. We included all costs for operation of the unit, transportation, treatment, and capital costs. All costs were presented in 2013 Canadian dollars. Results The annual per-patient cost of providing hemodialysis in the satellite units ranged from $80,372 to $215,918 per patient, per year. The median per patient, per year cost was $99,888 (IQR $89,057—$122,640). Primary cost drivers were capital costs related to constructi
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Impact of modality choice on rates of hospitalization in patients eligible for both peritoneal dialysis and hemodialysis.

Background: Hospitalization rates are a relevant consideration when choosing or recommending a dialysis modality. Previous comparisons of peritoneal dialysis (PD) and hemodialysis (HD) have not been restricted to individuals who were eligible for both therapies.

Methods: We conducted a multicenter prospective cohort study of people 18 years of age and older who were eligible for both PD and HD, and who started outpatient dialysis between 2007 and 2010 in four Canadian dialysis programs. Zero-inflated negative binomial models, adjusted for baseline patient characteristics, were used to examine the association between modality choice and rates of hospitalization.

Results: The study enrolled 314 patients. A trend in the HD group toward higher rates of hospitalization, observed in the primary analysis, became significant when modality was treated as a time-varying exposure or when the population was restricted to elective outpatient starts in patients with at least 4 months of pre-dialysis care. Cardiovascular disease, infectious complications, and elective surgery were the most common reasons for hospital admission; only 23% of hospital stays were directly related to complications of dialysis or kidney disease.

Conclusions: Efforts to promote PD utilization are unlikely to result in increased rates of hospitalization, and efforts to reduce hospital admissions should focus on potentially avoidable causes of cardiovascular disease and infectious complications.

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Mass screening for chronic kidney disease in rural and remote Canadian first nations people: methodology and demographic characteristics
Screening the general population for Chronic Kidney Disease is not currently recommended.. Rural and remote Canadian First Nations people suffer a disproportionate burden of Kidney Failure. The First Nations Community Based Screening to Improve Kidney Health and Prevent Dialysis ( FINISHED) project intends to test the hypothesis that a mobile, mass screening initiative available to all First Nations people 10 years of age and older residing in rural and/or remote communities, is feasible, will improve health outcomes and is cost effective.
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Effect of a preventive foot care program on lower extremity complications in diabetic patients with end-stage renal disease.

BACKGROUND: Lower extremity complications are a major cause of morbidity and mortality in patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) and diabetes mellitus. Patient education programs may decrease the risk of diabetic foot complications.

METHODS: A preventive program was instituted, consisting of regular assessments by a foot care nurse with expertise in foot care and wound management and patient education about foot care practices and footwear selection. Medical records were reviewed and patients were examined. A comparison was made with data about patients from a previous study done from this institution prior to development of the foot care program.

RESULTS: Diabetic subjects more frequently had weakness of the left tibialis anterior, left tibialis posterior, and left peroneal muscles than non-diabetic subjects. A smaller percentage of diabetic subjects had sensory neuropathy compared with the previous study from 5years earlier, but a greater percentage of diabetic subjects had absent pedal pulses in the current study. The frequency of inadequate or poor quality footwear was less in the current study compared with the previous study.

CONCLUSIONS: The current data suggest that a foot care program consisting of nursing assessments and patient education may be associated with a decrease in frequency of neuropathy and improved footwear adequacy in diabetic patients with ESRD. Read more…


Dignity and Distress towards the End of Life across Four Non-Cancer Populations

OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to identify four non-cancer populations that might benefit from a palliative approach; and describe and compare the prevalence and patterns of dignity related distress across these diverse clinical populations.

DESIGN: A prospective, multi-site approach was used.

SETTING:Outpatient clinics, inpatient facilities or personal care homes, located in Winnipeg, Manitoba and Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

PARTICIPANTS: Patients with advanced Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD); and the institutionalized alert frail elderly.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: In addition to standardized measures of physical, psychological and spiritual aspects of patient experience, the Patient Dignity Inventory (PDI).

RESULTS: Between February 2009 and December 2012, 404 participants were recruited (ALS, 101; COPD, 100; ESRD, 101; and frail elderly, 102). Depending on group designation, 35% to 58% died within one year of taking part in the study. While moderate to severe loss of sense of dignity did not differ significantly across the four study populations (4-11%), the number of PDI items reported as problematic was significantly different i.e. ALS 6.2 (5.2), COPD 5.6 (5.9), frail elderly 3.0 (4.4) and ESRD 2.3 (3.9) [p < .0001]. Each of the study populations also revealed unique and distinct patterns of physical, psychological and existential distress.

CONCLUSION: People with ALS, COPD, ESRD and the frail elderly face unique challenges as they move towards the end of life. Knowing the intricacies of distress and how they differ across these groups broadens our understanding of end-of-life experience within non-cancer populations and how best to meet their palliative care needs. Read more…


Evaluating the implementation strategy for estimated glomerular filtration rate reporting in Manitoba: the effect on referral numbers, wait times, and appropriateness of consults
Background:Chronic kidney disease screening using estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) reporting is standard in many regions. With its implementation, many centres have had higher referral rates and increased wait times to see nephrologists.
Objective: Manitoba began eGFR reporting in October 2010. We measured the effect of eGFR reporting on referral rates, wait times, and appropriateness of referrals after an educational intervention.
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